The purest expressions of joy can be witnessed at the nation’s two-day Carnival parade. It’s easy to see why people count down to this like a sort of second Christmas: colourful feathers, limitless booze, pumping rhythms. I reckon during the extravaganza some rise so many levels above unadulterated joy that they behave like animals and no, I’m not talking about the dog and cat references that cynics tend to make about revellers whose attempts to “get low” end with them on their hands and knees.
I am referring to cases like this one man, his hair bright red, who was literally bent over eating grass like a goat on someone’s lawn along the Choc highway. As a somewhat repressed spectator, don’t you ever wonder how it must feel to be that, er, liberated? But that’s neither here nor there. Really what we’re here to talk about is the costumes!
Depending on how saddled you are to your moral high horse you probably expect this to be another thong-bashing feature. It is not. But what I will say is that anyone who watched carnival Monday’s stage presentations, live or televised, would hold no questions as to why the band ‘Tribe of Twel’ has won consecutively for the last four years. When the Adrian Augier-led group appeared in the distance, I listened as spectators wondered out loud whether they were a foreign band. The indirect notion left lingering: anything grand, unless featuring the label “resort”, cannot possibly be local. (See article in this issue by Adrian Augier.)
The towering pieces, inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth, glistened under the sun and made a statement even before the pre-recorded, descriptive audio came on. The hours of hard work that went into those pieces were evident. Surely, more than a few practice sessions must’ve been held if only to guarantee as costume-bearers did not break a leg in the worst way while strutting in character onstage. It was a beautiful spectacle—like theatre—that defied spectators to look away even for a second, especially with the accompanying soundtrack filling up the Castries waterfront. None of their members, though carrying triple the amount of cloth as revellers from preceding and proceeding bands, looked bored or tired despite not treating hypnotized spectators to toe touches and impossible splits.
It was no surprise when on Wednesday it was announced that the band had walked away with first place finishes in all categories: Band of the Year, Section of the Year, Mas on the Move, Best Designed Band, Best Portrayed Theme, Individual of the Year (also winning 2nd, 3rd and 4th places) and Mas on the Move.
Later, on social media, someone presumably from Mars questioned whether a carnival band win would ever be awarded to a “young people band.” Understandably, not many considered the question worthy of a response. Other carnival Parade of the Bands winners included: Ole Mas winner Cuthbert Modeste; Road March winners Nassis & Chrome with their song Bend Down For De Hmmm and J’ouvert band winners Back in time.